By Faisal Zeeshan
Imran Khan (IK) once an inspiration for millions of youth across Pakistan, got 7.5 million votes in General Elections (GE) 2013, his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) emerged as the second most popular party in Pakistan in GE 2013, formed Government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) while emerged strong opposition party in Punjab, Sindh and Federation. All IK had to do was to perform in KP, act as a strong Opposition Leader and Wait for 2018. You might be thinking if all that was simple then why on earth IK took a road to destruction? That’s a million dollar question every Pakistani especially hard core PTI base must be asking themselves, even if they don’t accept publicly they tell you in private meetings, how it all went downhill from 2013 GE glory, how their captain has sunk his ship in the middle of nowhere, even now not listening to anyone, hell bend to drown all on board rather use a life boat and save as many life’s as possible, minimize the damage and prepare for another battle in 2018.
For a leader, the most precious thing is his political capital which he tries to build over the years for bigger battles which in case of politicians is elections and in case of sitting government to win confidence of people to win another term.
IK is gearing up for yet another Dharna at Sharif’s House Jati Umra with tall claims of popularity, false hopes of invincibility, ‘Naya Pakistan’, most popular leader slogan coined yet again to his support base, promise of million gathering at Raiwind and conquering Sharifs power?. As I said earlier for a political leader the most important and sacred thing is his political capital which unfortunately for IK has already shrunk to unthinkable levels.
No idea, how IK gauges his popularity, idiots like me gauge it by mass appeal, by-elections, local body elections, size of jalsas to some extent, support base at family gatherings, local political gatherings, parliamentary weight and support of opposition parties etc. etc. As far as mass appeal is concerned we have seen dramatic decrease in number of participants in IK rallies from Islamabad, Lahore to Karachi. He failed to gather even few thousands people, in fact according to neutral pundits all failed miserably. If you go through by-Elections post dharna, PTI Lost majority of them. Mianwali, Peshawar, Lahore, Sahiwal, Toba Tekh Singh, Vehari, Jehlam, Waziarabad, Taxila, Jhal Magsi, Haripur, Karachi and the list goes on and is compounded further by the lose of Local Bodies election even in KP where PTI is ruling lost majority districts to opposition, failed Kashmir test with shining colors. As far as opposition parties are concerned, no one wants to accompany IK on this suicidal mission especially with declining IK popularity and looming Indian threat. IK & PTI had to beg “Off-Shore tainted politicians” to accompany him for Raiwind March but still no one is ready to join him. PTI supporters are on back-foot during private meetings and gatherings, face tough questions and embarrassing taunts.
With such glowing record, no politician even dare to launch another protest movement even if he remotely thinks of launching one. The recent events would’ve discouraged him where Pakistan is having tension with India, latter threatening to revoke Indus Water Treaty which is more deadly than a Nuclear War, while Nawaz Sharif enjoying massive public support and dominating opinion polls, you have to be out of your mind or suffering from serious ego issues or anti-democratic forces to lodge such a protest? The only beneficiary of these protests is either Nawaz Sharif or anti-democratic forces, no way on earth IK can benefit from these protests.
With PPP already in shambles, it was golden opportunity for IK to fill the vacuum and give Sharifs run for their money, unfortunately IK has lost his political weight and soon his political relevance will be no more if he continued this of path of destruction. The vacuum is filled by mighty establishment which is not good for democracy, as it seems the fight is not between political forces as Nawaz Sharif is becoming invincible in political arena, the gap left, is filled by ‘Thank You Brigade!’